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What Do Older Adults Think About Their Future Care?

May 31, 2018 by Larry Morgan

When you’re living a healthy, fulfilling life, it can be difficult to imagine what it would be like in the later years.  What will your hair look like? Will you have any grandkids? Where will you retire, if you haven’t already?

A more important question to ask is: will you need care?

It turns out that many older adults don’t anticipate the amount of care they may need, or haven’t done their homework on securing their long-term care plans.

A recent survey shows what current middle-aged folks think, and you can see why this thinking may need to be reframed:

We’re Underestimating How Much Help We’ll Need

The survey involved almost 1,500 participants, and of these, only a little over 100 (about 8%) reported that they felt in the future, their kids or grandkids would play a large part in their care.

In reality, however, 70% of adults that live to 65 will need 3 years of care at a minimum. That’s 62% more people needing care than thought they did. What’s worse, over a third of the participants said they don’t expect to need any help from younger relatives!

Because lifespan is increasing, seniors are continually needing more and more care, and for longer. Research shows that most of the care these individuals receive comes from informal, or family, caregivers (who go unpaid).

Looking at possible care options now will benefit you and others potentially involved in that care. Have that difficult conversation with your children and or/grandkids, and look into caregiving companies, nursing homes and assisted facilities, and other senior resources in your area.

We Rely on the Internet

Speaking of resources, this survey also asked how people have been finding information on long-term care.

Two thirds of them rely on the Internet.

While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the Internet is a wealth of information on any and everything, it can also be a very superficial way to prepare yourself for something like long-term care.

Luckily, 63% of respondents also physically visited senior homes in their area. This is great news, as they’ve actually seen for themselves a potential future home and spoke with professionals about it.

Word of mouth from family and friends, as well as medical professionals also helped inform about half of respondents.

Preferences Galore

The final questions asked about what preferences people have in regards to their future senior care situation. The answers were extremely varied, though there were some strong themes:

  • Caring and consistent staff was the most popular at over 90%
  • Privacy was second at 87%
  • Other important factors to most respondents included transportation and meal choices

Other responses included things like:

  • LGBT acceptance
  • Fostering freedom and independence, instead of feeling cooped up like a “prison”
  • Dietary preferences/needs, such as vegetarian

Even a home for people of all ages, ranging from babies to great-grandparents, was mentioned!

It’s quite interesting to see what current adults anticipate for their futures, but one thing is for certain: the mindset on not needing care because you’re healthy now needs to change. Get ahead and start research on your future today.

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